Dec 15, 2018

Not Exactly "White" Stew, but Here's My Take on Japanese Salmon Stew

White stew (ホワイトシチュー), a Japanese style stew starting with roux and finished off with heavy whipping cream. However, I feel uneasy calling my version "white" stew, since the result came out somewhat brownish. Maybe not as pretty as a purely "white" stew, but trust me, this darkened version is packed with flavor and will not disappoint. 

Japanese salmon stew -




Ingredients?

  • 200 grams salmon (fillet preferred, but slices will do too)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium/small broccoli
  • 2 medium/small carrot
  • 3 small potatoes
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Small pinch nutmeg
  • Some parsley
  • Some flour
  • Some salt
  • Some black pepper
  • Some white wine (optional)


How?

Chunky salmon is preferred, cut into large bite size pieces. I couldn't get a hold of salmon fillet, so had to adapt with thinner slices instead. 

Sprinkle some salt and pepper to the fish, then dust with flour.

Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pot and turn to medium high heat. Once melted, sear the fish till both sides turned slightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside for later use.


Break the broccoli into smaller pieces. Do not discard the stem, peel away tougher layer then cut into chunks too. Peel and cut the carrot into smaller chunks, do the same with potatoes. Peel and dice the onion. Peel and finely chop garlic cloves. Finely chop some parsley.


Use the same pot, add in 2 more tablespoons of butter and turn to medium high heat. Transfer chopped onion over along with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Cook till the onion turns translucent. Add in garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so.


Transfer broccoli, carrot, and potatoes over. Sear and wait till they get slightly softened, it can take up to 10 minutes or so.


Add in about 2 tablespoons of flour and give it a quick mix, a thicker roux will start to form. Pour in chicken stock, also few splashes of wine if using. Cook for couple minutes.

Pour in heavy whipping cream and bring the whole pot to a slight boil, then keep it at a simmer. Taste and adjust with salt if needed.


Salmon goes in now, also small pinch of nutmeg. Simmer for another 20 to 25 minutes.

Once ready, transfer to a serving dish if desired. Garnish with chopped parsley right before serving. 


One tip here, dice these root vegetables to even smaller pieces to speed up the cooking time. 


My finished dish should be more like a braise than stew, but I'll stick with its Japanese origin and kept the name "stew." Either way, as long as it tastes good, don't bother with such details. 


Other stew recipes:



Dec 9, 2018

Blue Cheese and Asparagus Tart

This recipe is adapted from another blog LiveLoveLaughFood. The original recipe calls for Gorgonzola, but I use Bavarian blue, another type of blue cheese instead. Also there are some variations on the amount of ingredients applied. But mostly, I've taken on the method used to make the cheese cream for the savory tart, the end result was better than expected, very addicting so to speak.

Blue cheese and asparagus tart -



Ingredients (makes about 6 pieces)?

  • Some frozen puff pastry (enough to cover the area of a baking sheet)
  • 4 ounces or 114 grams Bavarian blue cheese
  • 114 grams or about 2 dozen asparagus (medium thickness)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 egg
  • Some aged Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Some olive oil
  • Some salt
  • Some black pepper


How?

Melt the cheese ahead of time since it needs to cool down again in the fridge for about an hour. Fill a pot with heavy whipping cream and bring to a simmer. Break the cheese into the pot and turn to medium low heat. Keep whisking and wait till the cheese has been nearly melted and incorporate with the cream.


Cover with foil and transfer the whole thing into the fridge. Wait till the cheese and cream mixture firms up a little, with texture similar to a very thick paste, about one hour.


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 204 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Thaw the frozen puff pastry according to package instruction. Beat one egg as egg wash and set aside for later use. Trim the asparagus if needed, also trim off the very end that might be too tough to chew on. 

Transfer the puff pastry to the baking sheet, shape into one single rectangular layer. The pastry size might not be the same as baking sheet, so some trimming or sealing work are required. Score about one-inch border around the pastry with the back of the knife, be careful not to cut all the way down. 

Cut the asparagus into suitable length, which should fit within our pastry border just created.

Spread the cheese and cream mixture within the pastry border.


Place asparagus on top. Drizzle some olive oil over the asparagus and sprinkle with some salt and black pepper. Depending on the cheese used, some can be quite salty so not to over-salt the tart. Taste and adjust.


Brush the edge of the tart with egg wash. 

Into the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or till the edge turned golden browned. 

Remove from heat and let cool. Cut into smaller pieces.


Grate some aged Parmigiano Reggiano right before serving.


The blue cheese used can be salty already, then we finished off the tart with even more grated Parmigiano Reggiano. So really need to watch out on the salt used when sprinkle over the asparagus. Better safe than sorry. If the tart ended up not salty enough, it's always a great excuse to grate even more Parmigiano Reggiano all over.